Cause of death for two of four family members found in Turlock home remains a mystery

07/15/2014 5:25 PM

07/15/2014 6:52 PM

Authorities investigating the deaths of four family members inside a northwest Turlock home last month have determined what killed two of them. Causes of death for the other two won’t be determined until toxicology test results are returned, police said.

A relative found the bodies of a couple and their two adult children in the family’s home June 26. The relative had become concerned after not hearing from the family for some time, authorities said.

The Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office has positively identified three of the dead as Rodney Bowman, 39; Robert Babakhan, 42; and Rozmary Babakhan, 70. Officials have tentatively identified the fourth victim as Sarkis Babakhan, 78. Authorities earlier said Rodney Bowman had legally changed his name from Radni Babakhan.

Police Officer Mayra Lewis said Tuesday that investigators have established cause of death for two of the victims and hope for lab results within a week for the other two. Citing the ongoing investigation, Lewis said she could not say how the two died, nor which victims they were. She also would not say whether investigators had recovered any weapons from the scene.

The bodies apparently had been in the house for some time, authorities said, and the warm Central Valley weather contributed to accelerated decomposition.

Turlock firefighters also are investigating because there was an “element of arson,” police said previously.

Lewis said Tuesday there was evidence of fire damage in the house when officers entered, though there was not an active fire.

Investigators earlier classified the case as a murder-suicide. Police said Tuesday that detectives still are analyzing evidence, but Lewis said it’s still considered a murder-suicide until evidence proves otherwise.

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